Josh Willingham is untouchable? Really?

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Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse cites a source as saying the Nationals were shopping Josh Willingham two weeks ago, but now he is “untouchable.”

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Yes. Stick with me — the same guy who the Nats wouldn’t give more than
a sniff of playing time just a month ago. Sure, Willingham has been
incredible in July, batting .329/.423/.683 with seven homers and 23
RBI, including two grand slams against the Brewers on Monday, but isn’t
this a perfect opportunity to sell high? Under team control for two
more seasons, Willingham might be the best trade chip the Nationals
currently have on their roster, especially when you compare him to an
impending free agent like Nick Johnson. Now 30 years old, Willingham
doesn’t figure to be around when (if?) the Nationals are ready to
compete.

You hate to say this, but perhaps Willingham is motivated to play well right now because he actually wants
to get traded to a contender? You know, a real light at the end of tunnel
sort of scenario. If we’ve entered a world where Josh Willingham is
untouchable, then give Jeff Francoeur a contract extension.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.